Classic issue: the bag of insulation is bigger than manhole

How to get insulation into the roof when your manhole is too small.
 
 

As with any insulation job, it is always recommended to work together with another person. In the situation described above, it could simply be that you are pushing the earthwool bag straight into some angled timbers. If you climb through the manhole first and get someone to push the bag up to you, you may be able to angle the bag away from whatever is blocking its path. This would be by far the easiest option.

Getting someone to help you may solve the problem more quickly than you think

You’re all set to get the job done. You’ve got everything you need and brace yourself to get started. And what do you find? The bag of Earthwool insulation won’t fit through the manhole… Are you for real?? You haven’t even started on the job you were dreading and there are problems already. This was not part of the plan!

You might have to bite the bullet and split open the bag

The rule of thumb in DIY insulation is only to open the insulation bag once it’s in the area that you need to insulate. The reason being that earthwool is much easier to carry around in its compressed state and it takes up so much space when it expands. If, however, you are working on your own, you may unfortunately have to open the bag and carry the individual batts through individually. This is a tedious and time consuming task, but may be your only option.

Think safety and don’t take risky short cuts

Some installers choose to pull back a few roof tiles and load the bags through the roof. Anything to avoid splitting open the bags that won’t fit through the manhole.

Insulation Tip: Try removing some roof tiles and pushing the insulation packs through the wooden rafters.

This method is not recommended practice for safety reasons, as the risk of falling from a height is great. Although the prospect of passing each insulation batt through the manhole might seem unbearable, it is by far the safer and recommended option. Having someone there to help you will make the job less daunting. Just make sure that the person passing up the insulation batts is wearing eye protection and a dust mask as many earthwool fibres will detach themselves and float down in the process.

  • Knauf Earthwool® Roof Batts

    $ 4.14$ 12.02 p/m2 inc. GST
  • Greenstuf® Polyester Ceiling Insulation

    $ 5.58$ 22.68 p/m2 inc. GST
  • Foilboard® Green Rigid Insulation Panels

    $ 7.38$ 33.00 p/m2 inc. GST

Is polystyrene insulation an effective thermal barrier?

Extruded polystyrene (XPS) has excellent R-ratings

Polystyrene is one of the most common plastics used today. Extruded polystyrene (XPS) is made from a polystyrene polymer using an ‘extrusion’ technique and is used as thermal insulation.

Still air is just about the best insulator there is

Any type of bulk insulation works on the same principal, no matter what material is used. The aim is to create as many air pockets as possible inside the material. The more air you can trap inside your material, the more effective your material will be at resisting heat flow. If, in addition to the air pockets you create, the material itself has high insulating properties, then you have managed to manufacture an excellent insulator.

A diagram showing XPS polystyrene insulation installed under the floor

Polystyrene has a high thermal resistance

Extruded polystyrene (XPS) contains millions of air pockets trapped within the foam. Because the polystyrene itself is also highly resistant to heat, the result is a great thermal insulator which can give excellent R-ratings. In addition to this, XPS is often lined with aluminium foil on at least one side, causing heat to be reflected and blocked simultaneously. This combination of bulk and reflective insulation is very effective.

Polystyrene insulation has excellent moisture resistance

When installing glasswool insulation, it’s important to ensure that the area you are working in is completely dry, as moisture that becomes trapped can cause mould issues. Moisture can also cause batts to compact which lowers their effectiveness and essentially their R-value. XPS, on the other hand, is already compacted and very little moisture is able to penetrate, preventing mould from developing and ensuring a consistent and durable R-value.

Popular with installers due to ease of handling

Knauf Climafoam XPS polystyrene insulation installed on a floor

Polystyrene insulation is near odourless, making it a popular choice with professional installers. Unlike glasswool, where thousands of loose fibres detach themselves during installation and often irritate exposed skin, XPS has a dense structure, making it more comfortable to work with. Standard construction site safety wear is more than adequate when installing XPS, compared to glasswool installers who often take protective measures to avoid inhaling tiny fibres and contact with eyes and skin.

Environmental considerations

Unfortunately a lot of polystyrene ends up in landfill as there are no known biological agents that can break it down. So while XPS is a very high performing insulating material, one of its major drawbacks is the impact it is having on our environment.

Reasons to Install Underfloor Insulation

Heat might be escaping through your floor. Install floor insulation and save money.

Install underfloor insulation for added comfort and energy savings

Even if your thermometer showed a comfortable reading last winter, you may not have felt particularly warm during the coldest months. The reason for this could be that heat was escaping through gaps in your flooring or through the floor itself.

Hot air can escape through completely sealed floors

Most building materials do not have particularly high insulating properties, so even if you’ve sealed all the gaps in your floor, warmth is still able to escape, making you feel colder in winter and warmer in summer. This becomes particularly noticeable in winter where bare feet and bare ankles feel it the most. Putting down extra rugs may not be an option for asthma sufferers or people with allergies, but installing insulation in your underfloor benefits everyone.

Install floor insulation in your home and keep warmer in WinterInstalling underfloor insulation for added savings

If you already have an adequate level of insulation in your ceiling you are most likely enjoying significant savings on your energy bills every year. Uninsulated ceilings account for up to 35% of heat loss during winter and up to 35% of heat gains during summer. However, what many people don’t realise is that up to 20% of heat can be lost through the floors of uninsulated homes and even more if not all gaps are sealed properly. In fact, it’s not uncommon for home owners to report that they earn back the initial investment of installing underfloor insulation already within the first few years.

Safety first when installing underfloor insulation

While installing insulation might not seem to be the most dangerous of tasks, it does present with its own set of hazards. The area under your house may contain all kinds of rubble from the time of initial construction including bricks, pieces of pipe, sharp nails and broken glass. Depending on your location, you may well be paying a surprise visit to snakes or spiders, who have potentially been living there undisturbed for years. If access to your underfloor is very low and you are required to crawl in or even lie on your back, take extra care to avoid injury. Use safety glasses, light up the area you are working in and don’t rush when moving around.

 

Renovating your home? Use sound insulation in the walls

Home renovation tips - install sound insulation in the walls

Installing wall insulation in old homes

Many old homes which were not insulated during the construction stage will by now have had ceiling insulation installed. These days, people seem to realise just how much they can save on their energy bills by retaining their heat in winter and reducing heat gains in summer. On the other hand, the focus has not been so much on wall insulation, and with good reason. You won’t save as much on your energy bills and many claim that the initial investment is just too expensive. People learn to live with the whirring washing machines, banging water pipes and other common household noises. They tune out to the constant passing traffic on the main road out the front and it’s really only the visitors that comment on the sounds all around. However, this doesn’t mean that sound insulation is out of the question. You just have to wait for the right time to install it.

Install sound insulation in the walls during home renovations

Find the right time – install sound insulation during a renovation

To install bulk insulation in walls you have to open up the wall itself. There is no way around this, so it’s no surprise that the walls in many old homes remain uninsulated. People will rarely tear apart a finished, plastered, painted wall simply to install sound insulation. If, however, you are renovating your home, then you should definitely consider insulating any new walls. The bottom line is: if you’re opening up a wall anyway, then insulate it while you can do it cheaply! You’ll be surprised at how much you will appreciate the reduced noise in your home, and you’ll also save a bit on your energy bills.

Reduce unwanted noise from the outside, and don’t forget the internal walls

Insulating your external walls reduces the amount of sound that enters your home from the outside. The most common complaints are traffic, aircraft and barking dogs. High-density insulation prevents much of the noise from penetrating your home and many sound insulation products also provide a thermally resistant barrier, keeping you warmer in winter and cooler in summer. If you’re opening up any internal walls, consider insulating these too and you will reduce the level of sound that is transmitted from room to room. Media/TV rooms, studios, bedrooms, bathrooms and laundries should be first on the priority list.

Spring is in the Air

It’s almost like your perceptiveness is sharpened by the change in the air and it becomes obvious what is to be thrown out and where the odds and ends actually belong. You spend less time thinking and dreading, and more time doing. Jobs around the house that seemed so impossible are actually not that hard, and you wonder why you put them off for so long. Take the draught that blew through your house all winter that gave you cold feet. Now a quick online search inspires you to head down to the nearest hardware store, purchase a draught stopper and install it. Simple.

Inspect your ceiling – is it insulated?

When people move into a new home (“new”, as in a home they haven’t lived in before) checking roof space for ceiling insulation probably isn’t on the top of the priorities list. In fact, many home owners and renters might live in a house for months or even years before it crosses someone’s mind to check what’s actually up there. Next time you’re at a BBQ with friends ask for a hands up for everyone who’s got insulation in their roof. If it’s a large group, don’t be surprised to find there’s one or two people who confess they’ve never thought to check. Then ask the people who put their hand up to state what R-value the insulation is (this measures its effectiveness at stopping heat and cold transfer). You can bet your bottom dollar that less than half the crowd will be able to definitively state the R-Value of insulation in their ceiling, and many of them won’t even know what R-Value means. Then comes the final punch, reserved for the DIY insulation geeks who actually know what R-Value of insulation they’ve got installed in their ceiling. Ask them if they were to top up the existing insulation with an additional layer, how long would it take for the energy savings to exceed their additional investment in insulation? Blank stares all around.

Ceiling Insulation is Important

Don’t underestimate the importance of thermal ceiling insulation. If properly installed and maintained dry, insulation can be expected to last about as long as your home. If you think your ceiling might be under-insulated, get in touch with Pricewise Insulation, the home-insulation experts!

 

Did you keep warm this winter?

Recently several articles have been published describing things you can do to keep warm in winter. At first glance is easy to be impressed by these astute people who figure out ways to keep warm that don’t involve turning their heating up excessively. One, they are saving money on their energy bills, and two, they are supporting the environment by reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions.

So why was the house still cold?

But on closer analysis, it seems like these people are missing the point altogether. If they are in fact heating their house, then why is it still cold? If they have actually sealed all the gaps, left the oven door open after cooking, opened the curtains to let in the natural sunlight and closed them after sun down, then why the need for flannel sheets, hot water bottles and woollen socks? It doesn’t make sense. Hot air doesn’t simply disappear, it rises. And if nothing is there to stop it, it will (almost) literally travel through the roof. So it sounds like the homes these people are living in are not insulated. Or if they are, the “R-value” isn’t sufficient for their climate. Not surprisingly, the higher the cost of energy for heating and cooling, the higher the R-value required to make a significant dent on energy bills.

25-35% of heat is lost through the ceiling in winter, more than anywhere else in the homeInstalling home insulation – the real solution

If your home doesn’t have adequate ceiling insulation, then you will constantly be striving to heat up your house, trying to stay warm and the problem will never be fully resolved. However, getting to the core of the matter and installing a sufficient level of insulation correctly (this level will vary depending on the climate in your area) removes much of the need for all these special modifications. You can simply turn your thermostat to the desired temperature, confident that the heat you are paying for is (to a much larger extent) remaining within the four walls of your house.

Energy Prices on the Rise – Think Higher R-Value

Energy prices are rising - consider using a higher insulation R-value in your ceiling

Will the insulation top-up option be the next trend?

With electricity costs increasing significantly across many areas in Australia, the insulation top-up option might soon become the new trend. The R-Value of thermal ceiling insulation will usually correspond closely to the thickness of the insulation batts. The more you’re paying for your energy, the more likely you will be to save money by topping up the insulation in your ceiling with an extra layer.

Air-conditioning vs Insulation

Here’s how it works: let’s imagine electricity was free, and let’s imagine your house, had no insulation. To compensate, however, your house is fitted out with a top-of-the-range ducted airconditing system. On a hot day, the roof space heats up like a furnace, and before long, the ceiling itself is emitting heat which can be felt inside the house. But since it doesn’t cost anything, you just crank up your airconditioning, and keep the heat at bay… or most of it at least. In this scenario, it would be tempting to just leave the home uninsulated, after all, it’s not costing you anything.. or is it?

The excessive load on the airconditioning system will doubtless lead to higher servicing and repair costs.But you might think that’s not much, compared with the cost of insulating the entire ceiling. But this scenario obviously isn’t from the real world.

Rising power prices in Australia

A diagram showing rising energy prices in Australia
Rising energy prices in Australia from 2003 to 2013. Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics

In the real world, (or at least in Australia) gas and electricity cost money, and in most States, from July 1st 2017, an average Australian family can expect to pay hundreds of dollars more per year for their energy use…all other factors being equal. Which brings us to an interesting point: what if your home is under-insulated­? You might well ask ‘what’s the definition of under-insulated, when is some insulation not enough? One way of looking at it would be as follows: If the cost of increasing the R-value would reduce the energy cost by more than this cost, over a reasonable period of time – then your home is probably under-insulated.

How quickly does insulation pay itself back?

For example: let’s say the cost of topping up your insulation (assuming you’ll install it yourself) comes to $600.  You estimate that the increased thermal protection in your roofspace will knock $150 per year off your energy costs. So in 4 years, the investment has practically paid itself off, and thereafter, it delivers savings, year after year. If you consider that to be a good investment, then by this definition, your house is under-insulated, and will benefit from a timely top-up. Happy insulating!


  • Knauf Earthwool® Roof Batts

    $ 4.14$ 12.02 p/m2 inc. GST
  • Greenstuf® Polyester Ceiling Insulation

    $ 5.58$ 22.68 p/m2 inc. GST
  • Knauf Earthwool® Wall Insulation Batts

    $ 2.82$ 11.44 p/m2 inc. GST

 

Do Insulation Batts Really Work?

Banner image of two people doing home renovations for blog post 'does insulation really work?'

Building or renovating? A good strong door, a fresh coat of paint, a well landscaped front yard, new fittings in the bathroom – what you see is often what you get, and if it looks good, then you’ll probably be happy with the result. With insulation batts it’s a bit different. Home renovators will often “uhm” and “ah” about thermal and acoustic insulation..

Do I really need it, will it make a difference? How much R-value should I invest in… will thermal be enough, or should I invest in thermal-and-acoustic (sound) insulation batts also? And perhaps deep down inside there’s this uncomfortable skeptic, not convinced that there will be any real benefit. So what are the magic benefits of thermal insulation..? And will you notice any difference?

Photo of a family sitting on a couch in a cool summer home

Year Round Indoor Comfort

Many older homes have no insulation in the walls, and (though hard to believe, after the now infamous “Pink Batts Debacle”) there are still many Australian homes without even any ceiling insulationThis puts the home owners – or the tenant – at a distinct disadvantage. Quite simply, an insulated ceiling increases indoor comfort – all year round, but especially noticeable during the hottest and coldest months of the year. Insulation batts contain literally millions of invisible air-pockets. These restrict the transfer of heat and cold through one of the most exposed areas of the house – the roof / ceiling area. Usually the insulation batts will simply be installed between the ceiling joists, but in the case of habitable attic conversions, then more creative solution needs to be found, since the ceiling cavity itself then needs to be kept at a reasonable temperature. The solution here is to focus on the area immediately underneath the roof itself – typically a combination of foil and bulk insulation will provide the required result.

Bradford Soundscreen Acoustic Wall Insulation - Sound Proof Your Home

Year Round Energy Savings

Insulation batts, correctly installed in the walls, ceilings and even underfloor of your home, will vastly reduce the amount of energy required to heat the house in winter, and keep it cool in summer. In fact, a proper level of insulation can more than halve your electricity bill! So comfort factors aside, thermal insulation is a logical investment which in simple dollars terms, will usually “pay itself off” after only a few years.

 


  • Knauf Earthwool® Roof Batts

    $ 4.14$ 12.02 p/m2 inc. GST
  • Greenstuf® Polyester Ceiling Insulation

    $ 5.58$ 22.68 p/m2 inc. GST
  • Knauf Earthwool® Wall Insulation Batts

    $ 2.82$ 11.44 p/m2 inc. GST

Pink Batts vs Earthwool

Pink Batts vs Earthwool Insulation. Which insulation brand is best?

So which product is actually better, when you compare Pink Batts vs Earthwool? Well that may depend on what’s most important to you.

Pink Batts vs Earthwool – Which is the Better Batt?

First let’s look at the similarities. Both Pink Batts and Earthwool are both “glasswool” insulation, and the batts are in large part made from sand and recycled glass bottles. Both Pink Batts and Earthwool insulation batts are available in a variety of “R-values” to suit different climates. When making the insulation comparison Pink Batts vs Earthwool it’s important to realise that once the insulation is installed, the thermal benefit is practically the same. So an R2.0 wall insulation batt will give you the same thermal protection, regardless of whether it is branded Pink Batts, or Earthwool, or any other brand for that matter.

Product photos of Knauf Earthwool Insulation and Pink Batts Insulation
Earthwool and Pink Batts are both glasswool insulation products

The pink insulation batts comes with a “life time guarantee” and Earthwool comes with a standard 50 year guarantee, which in practice means you can expect the insulation to last as long as your home.

Compare Insulation: Ease of Storage and Handling

Among all the home insulation types, Earthwool Insulation has gained popularity in recent years primarily for two reasons. Firstly, it uses a different binder, which makes it less itchy to work with. This is a real plus for DIY home renovators, not to mention professional installers who work with insulation on a daily basis. Secondly,  Earthwool comes in a highly compressed packaging, which can significantly reduce the need for on site storage space, and also help to reduce freight costs if you’re paying the full cost to get the insulation delivered to your home or on site.

Update: Low R-Value Wall Insulation – Pink = Firmer Fit

When looking for the best wall insulation, an often overlooked factor when choosing a brand, is how well the insulation batt will ‘stand’ in the wall cavity. The fact of the matter is, that even though in an ideal world, the wall studs will be spaced so exactly that they provide just the right amount of friction to the keep the insulation batts in their place, without folding or sagging – – often the reality is somewhat different.

A couple with house plans choosing which insulation to use
When it comes to insulation there are two things to consider: the brand and R-value

As any experienced insulation installer will know, a too narrow gap isn’t too much of a problem to deal with – you simply trim the edge of the insulation down to the required width. However a gap which is a faction to wide, can be a real “spanner in the works” – as without the necessary friction between the outside edges of the batt and inside edges of the walls studs, the wall batts can easily begin to sag. Here Pink Batts has a clear edge over it’s rival Earthwool, with it’s more rigid consistency making it easier to install.

Update: Knauf has recently announced an improvement in the consistency of the R1.5 wall batts. Is Earthwool now the best insulation for walls? If you’ve recently worked with either of these products, leave a comment and tell us what you think.

No smell? Best ceiling insulation based on odour(less) factor

If you’re old enough to remember the insulation being installed in the ‘old days’ you’ll remember the smell associated all roof insulation products. The longer the insulation lay there, the worse the smell, no doubt exacerbated by any number of vermin who have chosen to take refuge in the roof-space. Knauf genuinely claims that Earthwool is a better insulation as it has practically no smell, and the truth is that this is a fairly accurate statement. It smells like nothing, whereas most other glasswool products seem to have retained at least some of the odour, usually only noticeable in confined spaces. No doubt we will see more and more insulation brands setting their sights on an ‘odourless’ product range in the future. So if the no-smell factor is important to you, then the best home insulation for your roof may be Earthwool.

Our verdict – Pink Batts vs Earthwool

We recommend Earthwool insulation as the most comfortable to work with glasswool insulation, and it definitely is one of the best ceiling insulation products to work with. Price is obviously a key consideration, so we recommend you calculate carefully the full cost of buying the insulation and getting it delivered to you, and then make an informed decision on what is the best insulation for you and your project. Please don’t hesitate to contact us on 1300 729 639 or via the contact us page if you have any questions.

  • Knauf Earthwool® Roof Batts

    $ 4.14$ 12.02 p/m2 inc. GST
  • Knauf Earthwool® Wall Insulation Batts

    $ 2.82$ 11.44 p/m2 inc. GST
  • Pink Soundbreak Insulation Batts

    $ 8.18$ 15.72 p/m2 inc. GST

What’s the difference between fibreglass and glasswool?

Glasswool insulation works in a similar way to natural sheeps wool

Glasswool insulation is made from recycled glass bottles sand and other materials. Glasswool is just another name for fibreglass insulation. It’s also sometimes referred to as glass fibre insulation or fibreglass batts. These are melted at very high temperatures and then spun into fibres. The result is millions of tiny air-pockets being created inside the insulation, which is what gives glasswool insulation its excellent insulating properties. Knauf Earthwool, Fletcher Pink Batts and Bradford Insulation are among the most popular glasswool brands available in Australia.

Fibreglass Batts – Like Sheep’s Wool and Down Feathers

You may be surprised to learn that glasswool insulation works in a very similar way to natural sheeps wool and down feathers. Various binders can be used to hold the insulation together. Glasswool batts have for decades been associated with irritation of eyes, nose, skin and throat, but thankfully technological developments have resulted in a vast improvement in the product design, resulting in far softer and more pleasant glasswool insulation products now being available on the market. Brands such as Knauf Earthwool have taken the low-itch factor to a new level, and you’d have a hard time guessing that it is indeed glasswool insulation.

Glasswool Insulation – Keep Dry at All Times!

Wet insulation is a dilemma at the best of times, and glasswool insulation is no exception to this. It’s not difficult to understand why wet insulation doesn’t work, and will cause no end of trouble for

Earthwool fibreglass batts are low itch and work like down feathers

the home owner if it is installed while wet. Firstly, glasswool relies on the microscopic airgaps inside – technically speaking it’s the airgaps which are the actual insulators. Now if these get soaked with water, there goes your thermal insulation! Also, wet glasswool insulation will be susceptible to mould, and will

introduce moisture to whatever area of the building it is installed, with potentially destructive results. For this reason, glass insulation should always be stored high and dry, and if any part of a glasswool batt should become wet, it should be cut off, discarded and never used.

Why is Glasswool insulation is still so popular?

Glasswool insulation batts are often made from recycled glass bottles and will not catch fire

Glasswool insulation remains hugely popular, and not without good reason. The bulk of the insulation originates from sand, which is one of the worlds most abundant natural resources.Other additional benefits of fibreglass insulation batts is that they are resistant to vermin, and are non-combustible (won’t catch fire) – an obvious bonus considering they are most always installed within the actual building frame. When properly installed in the roof, ceiling or underfloor of a home, glasswool insulation can be expected last as long as the home itself.

Is Fibreglass Insulation Itchy to Work With?

All fibreglass insulation can be a little bit itchy to work with, especially if you have sensitive skin. The itch caused by working with modern day quality glass wool insulation isn’t caused by chemicals, but simply by the tiny glass-fibre ends which make up the consistency of the glass insulation. For this reason, it’s recommended to wear a long sleeve shirt and gloves when handling glasswool, and should you still find that your hands and arms are itchy at the end of the day, a good rinse under cold water should resolve that without much trouble.

How is fibreglass made?

As the name suggestions, recycled glass is a key ingredient in the manufacturing of glass wook insulation. Together with other ingredients, such as soda ash, limestone and a significant portion of sand, this mix is then heated to melting point, before it is spun into long, super-thin threads of glass fibre. A binder is added to the mix, and after being baked in a large oven, the insulation is sliced up and cooled off, before being packaged.

Insulation Batts vs Rolls

If you’re installing ceiling insulation in an existing home, then two common alternatives are insulation batts, and insulation rolls.

Insulation batts vs rolls – is one better than the other?

The short answer is no – both products are equally effective in insulating your ceiling space. The main difference is the method to install the insulation. While rolls can be ‘rolled’ out between the ceiling joists, insulation batts are installed in pieces. If you are installing insulation across the joists, to eliminate thermal bridging, and if your ceiling space has very few obstacles and a lot of room to work in, you may find that installing insulation rolls is a suitable option. However if you have a tight ceiling space and have some additional obstacles such as ventilation pipes or electrical cables, then you will find it easier to install insulation batts, as rolled insulation will tend to catch more on these obstructions. There is an argument which suggests that rolls of insulation are better because there are less ‘gaps’ for air to escape through. This is hardly relevant; if the insulation batts are installed correctly with a snug fit, there will be no noticeable difference in the performance of the insulation. No matter which product or brand of insulation you choose to install, and whether or not you prefer working with a batt or an insulation roll, remember that the intention is to provide a thermal barrier between the outside environment and the living area inside the house.

Our verdict – Insulation Batts vs Insulation rolls

In most situations, we would recommend insulation batts as the best and most cost effective option. Insulation batts such as Knauf Thermal Ceiling Insulation are a fantastic option.  They come in compression packed bags, saving you time on getting the insulation into the ceiling. Once you have got the bags up there, split them one at the time, and install all the pieces from the first bag before opening the next bag.

If you need more advice on your home insulation project please contact our friendly team. We have years of experience both selling and installing insulation and can help advise you on the best options for you project, and also give you some great tips for how to make the job as easy as possible for yourself.

Reflective Foil Wall Wrap – is it necessary?

Have you ever driven past a new housing development and wondered why the frames of some houses are wrapped with a silver foil insulation and others appear to have missed out?

Opinions vary as to whether wall wrap is a must, or whether it can be considered an optional extra. Typically, in very hot and humid climates, it is given more priority, and in colder windier climates it is also commonly installed.  In more moderate climates it is often not prioritised mainly in order to save on cost.

The purpose of wall wrap insulation

Wall wrap insulation such as Sisalation services two main purposes:

  1. It protects the inside of the building from wind, moisture and dust, effectively sealing it off from much of the elements
  2. Reflective foil insulates the home by stopping almost all radiant heat transfer.

Wall wraps: Don’t forget the air-gap -!

Most new homes are installed with thermal bulk wall insulation in the wall cavity. All reflective foil insulation (sometimes know as silver foil insulation) requires an air-gap of around 25mm in order to insulate effectively against radiant heat transfer. Since wall insulation is typically installed with the reflective side inwards, it’s important to consider what the main purpose of the wall wrap is. If you push the wall batts between the studs so that they come into close contact with the reflective side of the foil, this will render the effective R-Value of the wall wrap to almost zero, even though you will still benefit from the wind and dust deterring properties of the wall wrap insulation.

Options for maximising thermal benefit of reflective wall wrap

If a primary reason for installing wall wrap is to keep the house cooler in summer time, and assuming that you will be installing at least some thermal bulk insulation in the wall cavities, here are two alternative options which you can consider.

  1. Install the bulk insulation so that it doesn’t come into contact with the wall wrap. This could work if the wall studs are 100m deep, and you are installing 75mm wall batt such as Earthwool R1.5/580mm or even a  Earthwool R2.0/580mm Hi-Density insulation. It requires extra care during the installation process, and depends to a certain extend on the wall studs being evenly spaced (to avoid the wall batts slipping towards the wall wrap or even leaning against it.)
  2. Alternatively you could install the wall wrap insulation with the reflective size facing outwards. This may cause inconvenience during the bricklaying or cladding phase, especially during sunny weather, so make sure you consult with any tradespeople beforehand who might be affected by the excessive glare, so they can take proper sun-protection measures.

Need insulation wrap delivered to site? Contact us today for a quote!

 

 

Topping up Insulation

old-existing-ceiling-insulation-scheme-australia-pricewise-insulation-blog


If your ceiling has no insulation, then installing even a relatively low R-Value such as R2.5 ceiling insulation will make a considerable difference to indoor temperature stability.

Existing insulation in the ceiling space?

The situation is quite typical. The house you moved into years ago was supposedly insulated long before there was any talk of a government rebate. But you don’t feel it’s so effective, so one day you grab a torch and a ladder and pluck up enough courage to stick your head up through the manhole and into the ceiling space and have a look around. If the house was insulated several decades ago, then even what might have been considered a good quality product at the time, might now be delivering less thermal benefit than it was originally specified to deliver.

The compression-over-time factor

Blow in insulation, wool insulation, paper insulation and most other types of bulk insulation will settle and compress over time. Why does this matter? Insulation is full of tiny air-pockets. The more the insulation is compressed, the less effective it becomes in reducing the transfer of heat, i.e. the effective R-Value is reduced. So what may have been sufficient 20 or 30 years ago, might no longer be performing as it was designed to do, especially considering the spike in electricity prices in more recent years.

Fletcher-Pink-Batts-Thermal-Ceiling-Insulation_R3.0_R3.5_R4.0_R5.0_R6.0Shop_Now_Template_for_BlogAutex-Greenstuf-Polyester-Insulation-Batts_R3.0_R3.5_R4.0_R5.0_R6.0

What to do with the old insulation?

If cost was not a factor, then the advice would always be to vacuum out the entire roof space, and install new clean insulation batts, which can reasonably be expected to last as long as the house itself. However for most households, costs is of course a very real factor, and the cost of getting in a professional company to vacuum out the roof space will often exceed the cost of installing new insulation. Before deciding whether to top up existing insulation with new insulation, consider the following points:

  1. all old insulation will have some R-Value
  2. old insulation is typically extremely dusty and will often smell
  3. how much effective R-Value it still has will depend on how well it was installed originally, and how much it has compressed over time.
  4. It’s more difficult to get a neat finish when topping up old insulation with new insulation
  5. New insulation (at least the brands we sell) does not attract vermin, however many older insulation types do become nests for vermin.

Summary – topping up existing insulation

If your house currently has a properly installed and quality insulation in the ceiling, but it requires a higher R-Value, then topping up with an additional layer of thermal insulation may be a viable alternative.

On the other hand if what has been installed in the past is of a very poor quality, and in addition is distributed unevenly, then we definitely recommend you to consider cleaning out the ceiling and replacing it with new insulation in the required R-Value.

 

 

Theatre Room Insulation

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There are many good reasons to install acoustic insulation (also referred to as sound insulation or sound proofing insulation) in the internal walls of the home. There is no single formula to determine which rooms should and shouldn’t be insulated with sound insulation, but the purpose of insulation is to reduce sound transfer.

Theatre rooms and TV rooms should always be insulated completely with sound insulation. If the theatre room is connected to the outside wall of the house, think about your neighbours and consider replacing normal thermal insulation with a hi-density wall insulation. Without acoustic insulation in the internal walls the noise emanating from the theatre room will potentially dominate the whole house when the room is in use.

A great product to consider is Knauf’s Earthwool R2.7 Super Hi-Density Acoustic Wall insulation. This is available in both 580mm widths and 430mm widths, to fit the standard 600m and 450 joist spacing.

Click on the links below to go directly to the product page:

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need further information or recommendations regarding your theatre room insulation project.

 

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Polyester vs Glasswool

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An investment for the life of your home

Insulation is an investment in the future comfort and energy efficiency of your home. When deciding on a brand and type of insulation, you need to ask yourself some key questions. We hope this article will help you to make an informed decision.

Most insulation brands sold in Australia are made from glasswool, also known as fibreglass. Glasswool has numerous benefits which make it such an effective insulation material. It’s main ingredient being recycled glass and sand, it can’t catch fire, does not attract vermin, doesn’t rot, and isn’t prone to absorbing airborne moister. It’s fairly easy to cut with a sharp knife, and quite simple to install. The millions of tiny airpockets give glasswool its fantastic insulating properties.

So what are the advantages of polyester then?

In this example we’ll compare glasswool with GreenStuf, which is manufactured from 100% polyester. GreenStuf has practically all the above mentioned benefits, and it also has some additional benefits. It contains no breathable fibres and is certified as being not flammable. This may be significant for asthma sufferers or those suffering from serious dust allergies, and is probably one of the main advantages of polyester insulation. Now how much dust (say in your ceiling space) will actually find it’s way into the living area? That’s a very good question, and the answer is probably ‘not much.’ The most dust you will likely experience invading your home from the ceiling space will be when you attempt to change a ceiling downlight globe. However here it’s important to point out that in an old ceiling, there is likely to be a lot of dust anyway – regardless of whether or not there is insulation in the roof space, and regardless of whether any insulation installed is polyester of glasswool. But it would be fair to assume that if all other factors were equal, polyester would be the least dusty alternative, in particular in a new building.

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Huge difference in delivery costs

A key difference worth noting if you’re planning on ordering insulation, is the cost of getting it delivered. Polyester is typically a bulky product when compared to glasswool. If you live in or near one of Australia’s biggest cities, this will probably be of little concern. However once you move away from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Perth, then delivery can become very costly. For example, if you have a 130m2 ceiling, and you plan to insulate it with R3.5 Earthwool ceiling insulation. This will easily fit onto one pallet, whereas you would need around 4 pallets (or pallet spaces) to ship the equivalent R3.5 GreenStuf ceiling insulation. In practice this means you might quickly find yourself needing to factor in an extra 30% – 40% of the materials cost simply to cover the freight costs, especially if you live in a remote area. With glasswool, in most cases the delivery fees will be more be in the order of 10%- 20%. These are not exact figures, but can provide a helpful indication.

Summary and conclusion- glasswool vs polyester batts

  • Polyester insulation is exceptionally soft to handle and has no dusty particles, making it an extra attractive option for allergy sufferers
  • We recommend you use our website shopping cart to calculate the cost of either option, and confirm the delivery cost with us if you live outside Sydney or Melbourne.
  • Then compare the difference in costs, and determine whether the extra cost of the poly insulation option is justifiable.

If you need more advice, don’t hesitate to contact us on 1300 729 639!

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Insulation Brisbane | Pink Batts on Sale!

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At Pricewise Insulation our speciality is delivering the best thermal and acoustic insulation brands direct to your home or to site. Our online prices are inclusive of GST and a standard 5% discount on our entire range. If you need bulk quantities of insulation don’t hesitate to contact us to negotiate an additional bulk order discount.

Insulation Batts For Sales – Next day delivery

Should you require Pink Batts Ceiling Insulation, Pink Batts Wall Insulation or Fletchers renowned Sisalation Wall Wrap products, we can deliver direct as early as the following business day. The bulky nature of insulation can make it costly and time consuming to pick-up. Delivery costs only $75 inc. GST and can save you hours of inconvenience.

We service Brisbane and the surrounding areas, including Loganholme, Browns Plains, Capalaba, Caboolture, Ipswich and Beaudesert.

Need advice?

If you need advice or more information on any of the insulation for sale or on any of the brands we sell, please email sales@pricewiseinsulation.com.au or call us on 1300 729 639. We look forward to helping you to save on your next insulation project.

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Allergic to insulation?

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Modern day glasswool insulation has come a long way when it concerns health, safety and sustainability. All the products we sell are considered safe to use and safe to install, providing the proper installing procedure is followed. If you suffer from asthma or serious dust allergies, then you should think extra carefully before climbing into an old ceiling space.

Insulation is usually not the problem

While all glasswool insulation (including “earthwool“) will generate a bit of dust during cutting and handling, this is unlikely to cause any problems for the installer. However as the attic or ceiling in an old house will often be full of dust, it is highly recommended that an appropriate dust mask and eye protection are worn. When installing insulation in a new house, the dust is likely to be far less of a problem. Similarly, once the insulation is installed, and any wall and ceiling cavities have been enclosed with plasterboard or a other wall lining – the amount of insulation dust which would be likely to enter the home is likely to be unnoticeable.

The polyester insulation option

One way in which insulation and ceiling dust can enter an existing home is through the down-lights – for example when replacing the globes from inside the house. If this scenario is likely to occur, and if you or any of the residents of the house suffer from asthma or a severe dust allegy, then we recommend you consider a non-glasswool option such as GreenStuf Ceiling insulation. GreenStuf insulation is made almost entirely from bonded polyester, and contains no breathable airborne fibres.

Need Earthwool Insulation delivered in Adelaide?

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Need insulation urgently?

We can deliver Earthwool thermal and acoustic insulation direct to your door or to site as early as the next business day in Adelaide.

Why Earthwool Insulation?

Knauf’s range of Earthwool insulation is gaining popularity Australia wide with both commercial builders and home builders and DIY renovators. Earthwool insulation has two notable benefits:

1. Less itchy than other common brands of glasswool insulation

2. Compression packaged – more m2 coverage per bag means less storage space and handling required and it’s also cheaper to transport.

Modern day glasswool insulation has improved significantly compared to what was commonly installed some decades ago. For a reasonable fee, we can deliver Earthwool ceiling insulationwall insulation, acoustic and underfloor insulation straight to your door throughout Adelaide and all the surrounding suburbs.

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Which insulation R-Value do I need in Adelaide?

Adelaide is known for it’s hot summers, and this should be taken into account when deciding which insulation R-Value to go with. New homes will generally be specified as requiring a certain minimal R-value to meet energy efficiency requirements. If you’re doing a minor renovation or adding insulation in an old house, we would usually recommend a minimum R2.0 in the walls and R4.0 in the ceilings. An adequate layer of thermal insulation will keep your house cooler in summer and warmer in winter, and noticeably reduce the load on any heating and cooling appliances.

Is a hot or cold shower best after working with insulation?

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You’d be surprised how many times we get asked this question. The common theory is that a cold shower is better than a hot shower, because hot water will cause the skin pores to open up, exposing them to any minute glasswool strands which might be lying on your skin..

How itchy is modern day glasswool insulation?

Glasswool (also known as fibreglass) insulation manufacturers have come a long way in developing clean, safe and comfortable products. Knauf’s “Earthwool“, Fletcher’s “Pink Batts” and CSR Bradford’s “Gold Batts” are all quality insulation products. Knauf Earthwool is without question the softest and least ‘itchy’ of these three brands. This is because the fibres are longer and softer, resulting in less ‘ends’ to cause irritation. Any itchy sensation experienced from installing Earthwool is purely ‘mechanical’ – i.e. it has nothing to do with binding agents or other chemicals, but may rather be caused by some almost invisible strands clinging to your clothes and rubbing on your skin. While we can’t claim to have conducted any extensive testing and research on this topic, our installers will definitely agree that initially rinsing off in cool water first, before taking a hot shower, is the recommended approach.

Buy Wall Insulation Buy Ceiling Insulation Buy Underfloor Insulation

Want zero itch and dust?

If you want insulation with no dust and no itch then consider a polyester option like GreenStuf Ceiling Insulation. It will cost you a bit more, but it does top the list for comfortable handling during the installation process.

Looking for your nearest insulation supplier?

Insulation Supplier Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra, Perth - Wall Insulation, Ceiling Insulation

At Pricewise Insulation we have a big focus on customer convenience. Insulation is a bulky product and if you need more than just a few bags, you’ll likely need a ute or a trailer in order to pick it up. We can deliver as early as the next business day throughout all of greater Melbourne and Sydney. Deliveries within Brisbane, Adelaide and Canberra take 1-3 business days.

If you add up the time and cost of driving to either our Sydney Warehouse (2/16 Lincoln St, Minto NSW 2566) or our Melbourne Warehouse (11 Buch Ave, Epping VIC 3076), then you might find it far more economical to place your order online and get it delivered by our couriers, than to organise your own vehicle and trailer if required and making the trip yourself.

However if you prefer to pick up, give us a call on 1300 729 639 to confirm your order and arrange a pick-up time from your local insulation supplier.

Insulating my granny flat

Does my granny flat also need to be insulated? In most cases the answer is yes. How much R-Value which you need in the ceiling and walls will depend on a number of factors, primarily the local climate, and the proximity of any other buildings or trees which may provide shading from direct sunlight especially during the hot summer months.

A minimum of R2.5 ceiling insulation is considered necessary in most climates. This may also be adequate in hotter climates, if the granny flat is situated so that it receives direct shade from nearby trees or buildings for most of the day.

The walls should also be insulated. Consider using a combined thermal and acoustic insulation in the walls – this helps to block out unwanted noise transfer, and can make the granny flat more attractive to a potential tenant.

For advice on your granny flat or home renovation insulation, don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

Purchase Home Insulation in 5 States & Territories

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Pricewise Insulation services all major capital cities and a number of regional centres. Click here for delivery and pick-up information or contact us on 1300 729 639 for a personalised quote.
Regional deliveries start from $65 including GST. 


Victoria
Bacchus Marsh, Bairnsdale, Ballarat, Bendigo, Castlemaine, Daylesford, Frankston, Geelong, Healesville, Kilmore, Kyneton, Melbourne, Melton, Shepparton-Mooroopna, Seymour, Traralgon, Wangaratta, Wodonga (plus many more).

New South Wales
Beresfield, Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Coffs Harbour, Gosford, Newcastle, Orange, Rooty Hill, Sydney, Tamworth, Wagga Wagga, Wollongong  (plus many more).

Queensland
Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Townsville

South Australia
Adelaide

ACT (Australian Capital Territory)
Canberra

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We deliver insulation to the Blue Mountains

For a flat fee of $95 we can deliver your insulation order to the following Blue Mountains townships: Glenbrook, Blaxland, Warrimoo, Sun Valley, Springwood, Faulconbridge, Woodford, Hazelbrook, Lawson, Wentworth Falls, Leura and Katoomba. We also deliver to other areas – please contact us for a quote.

So which R-Value does a Blue Mountains home need?

No matter which area you live in, proper thermal insulation will ensure that warmed up air inside your house doesn’t escape unhindered through the walls, ceiling and even through the raised underfloor of your home. We often get asked which R-Value we recommend for houses in the Blue Mountains region. This will depend on a number of factors. In the lower Blue Mountains, we would generally recommend an insulation R-Value of at least R3.5 for the ceiling and R1.5 in the walls, and (where applicable) an R2.0 in the underfloor. For homes in the upper Blue Mountains area, we would recommend a minimum R4.0 for the ceiling insulation, and would also suggest increasing the R-Value of the wall insulation to an R2.0. Even in the colder areas, an R2.0 is generally sufficient under a raised underfloor, since the hot air inside the home will naturally rise toward the ceiling. However some underfloor insulation is always recommended to stop cold drafts seeping in and to avoid the inevitable chilly winter floorboards.

..and don’t forget the acoustics

If you are building or extending a home near a major road – in particular a steep road (think noisy truck brakes..)then we would urge you to consider installing acoustic insulation in the external walls. Acoustic insulation is denser than normal thermal insulation, and is effective in reducing the transfer of outside noise.

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Ceiling insulation in Melbourne – What R-Value?

Tips on the best R-value ceiling insulation to install in Melbourne

Melbourne’s climate is on average cooler than the other major capital cities, and in winter the weather can be both damp and windy – a chilly combination.

Ceiling insulation R-Value matters

Without ceiling insulation, the indoor temperature will ‘follow’ the outside temperate, and even with a heater on, you will likely find yourself struggling to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature, especially on those frosty winter evenings. The solution is ceiling insulation with a sufficient R-Value. Bulk insulation such as glasswool and polyester contains millions of tiny air-pockets. These drastically slow down the heat transfer process. A thicker insulation batt will have a higher R-Value, and will be more effective.

We recommend R4.0 insulation or higher for Melbourne homes

Cost/benefit Analysis

Doubling the insulation R-Value will not double the energy efficiency of your home. The law of diminishing returns is very applicable here. And it’s not a fixed equation either – should energy prices skyrocket a few years down the track, then there may be many home owners wishing that they’d installed a higher R-Value at the time.

What we recommend in Melbourne

As a rule of thumb, if you’re building a new home or installing ceiling insulation in a new home in or around Melbourne, we recommend R4.0. This is typically around 20cm thick, and provides a good level of thermal protection. Upgrading to an R5.0 or even and R6.0 will moderately increase the energy efficiency of your home, and could also result in real $$ savings if electricity prices continue to rise. For more information please contact us at our Melbourne warehouse.

Updated: taking into account the significant price increases anticipated after July 2017, we are not recommending Melbourne customers to consider R5.0 as a standard.